A Lesson In Sales-Generation
Advertising From 1940
Human nature hasn’t changed for centuries, and probably never will. That’s why this hugely successful advertisement holds the secrets to much higher enquiries and sales from your advertising. Take a look and see why it performs so well.
An advertisement for handwoven ties written by James Young in 1940
This ONE ADVERT SOLD 26,000 TIES! An amazing success story. And an amazing advertisement (written by James W. Young).
What is most evident about the advert is the unique ways they use a number of great advertising techniques — ones that STILL work today, just as well. Think about this:
1. A unique headline
— “mountain people” conjures up pictures with those two words. “Hand woven” portrays the quality that they put into the ties. Combined, this is a very intriguing headline.
2. In the subhead, this statement is interesting
— “Wearers say an exceptional value.* “Note that the * references a footnote at the bottom of the advert that is actually a testimonial of a happy buyer.
George W Engelmann, well known Chicago businessman, writes: “Enclosed is my order for some of your ties. I would like to take this opportunity to tell you how well I like your ties. When I wear them they never fail to attract favorable comment. They are also the most durable ties and best value I have ever seen”
NOTE: a testimonial in a clothing advertisement! How often do you see that? 76 years later and few people are using this simple strategy. The footnote is a nice touch — very interesting way to get people involved in the ad. Also note how the testimonial is written.
Chances are the adman wrote the testimonial and had the client approve it. In your business you should do the same. Your clients will provide glowing testimonials but (typically) have a tough time saying the best things about your business and how those things affect other potential buyers.
3. The advert starts out with a very compelling story
–“For over 200 years the Spanish people who settled New Mexico have been raising sheep and weaving wool. Their looks have been handed down from father to son “And on it goes into the story of where they live, the types of fabric they make, the colors, the make of the tie, intriguing features like “invisible silk”, how they wear, wrinkle free, the textures, cleaning … and so on.
It literally forces you to read the entire story!Then it goes into “My Christmas Offer” showing that they obtained a fantastic deal ($1 per tie) — makes the perfect gift — guaranteed.
4. How to order details are very intricate
— making sure people know exactly what must be done to get a part of this special offer. It is even discussed how they will be packaged so the customer knows what to expect in their mailbox.
5. Last, the true clincher: why they MUST order now
— “before the Spanish go on their El Natividad” and why you must make a decision now before Christmas gets here and your gift is late.
What an amazing ad. And, there is absolutely no reason you can’t use a concept like this in your advertisements, either online or offline.
Find a way to use these ideas:
• Intriguing headline — make it a visual one
• Testimonials — lots of them — or your best quality ones at least
• A great story about you — your employees — your spouse — your kids — your pets — whatever, just make it interesting
• Descriptives on what they get and why it matters
• A very special offer that WILL NOT be repeated
• Make it descriptive on how to order (and give them options)
• The big reason why they MUST order now!
• Tie it in to a holiday or special theme. It’s not rocket science — but if they can sell 26,000 ties with an advert like this — don’t you think you could find a way to sell more of your products and services using similar techniques?